St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Saturday this year — THIS SATURDAY, to be exact. If you have yet to plan or prep for your annual celebration of all things Irish, use these tips and be ready in no time.
Put Together a Shopping List
St. Patrick’s Day celebrates the anniversary of the saint’s death in the fifth century. The holiday falls during the Christian season of Lent, but the Church waives the rule against eating meat during this time to allow celebrators to eat, drink and be merry.
Irish bacon and cabbage serves as the traditional meal for this holiday. Check out these excellent Irish recipes from Food.com and adapt favorites to your party size. For example, corned beef and cabbage lends itself to an intimate dinner party, while corned beef bites served as hors d’oeuvres with spicy mustard work well for a cocktail party. If you plan on having kids as guests, plan to make them corned beef sliders.
Don’t forget to put Guinness on your shopping list, and pick up Harp Lager and Bulmers Irish Cider for guests who prefer a lighter beverage. And, please, resist the temptation to mar the beauty of these brews with green dye. If you plan on inviting younger guests, pick up the makings for vanilla milkshakes, mint extract and green dye for a copycat of McDonald’s Shamrock shake.
Lastly, call your favorite flower store to order St. Patrick’s Day arrangements. Opt for natural flowers and greenery in traditional colors — Bells of Ireland, green kale, poms and monte casino — over dyed ones. Also, skip the tacky decorations. Instead use colorful plates and napkins to add festivity to your party space. Green tea lights in glass holders complete the look. If kids are on the guest list, plan to put the candles above “hand height.”
Prep for the Party
Plan to cross everything off your shopping list before Saturday, so you have a clean house and supplies ready for cooking and decorating on the big day. Wrap things up at least two hours before guests arrive to not feel rushed.
Celebrate St. Patrick
To truly honor the spirit of the holiday, put together a fact or fiction list of information about the saint. Have guests guess whether or not a statement holds any truth and award prizes for correct answers. For example, St. Patrick did not banish all snakes from Ireland, but he did create the Celtic cross by adding the powerful Irish symbol of the sun to the Christian cross.
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